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Hair care: Split ends

Split ends. What are they? Everyone has them. First, they start as the rare fly away or a scraggly hair here and there but quickly turn into lots of dryness and snapping, if not cut off by your hairdresser. But where do they come from and why do they mean regular trims and trips to the salon?

Scientifically called “trichoptilosis”, split ends occur when the splitting or fraying of the hair shaft occurs. Although split ends are mostly found on the ends of the hair, they can actually be found anywhere on the hair strand.

Having split ends is nothing to be freaked out about as it is very normal to have them, but in large amounts it can be fairly bad not only for the health of your hair, but for the look of it as well. If you neglect to practice proper hair care at the home and salon, the problem can get bad quickly and result in snapping, dullness and brittleness all over.  So, what causes these pesky split ends?

Some of the most common causes are every day bad habits – putting your hair up wet, sleeping with your hair up, brushing roughly and the products you use, heat styling and chemical treatments. Split ends can even be caused by the climate and weather you live in as well as your nutrition and any medications you may be on.

Regular treatments, not heat styling your hair every day, being gentle when brushing, not putting your hair up to sleep or when wet and eating healthy are all great ways to reduce the amount of split ends that occur as well as making sure the products you use are suited to your hair needs and are of good quality.

Using the right products to suit your lifestyle will greatly reduce the increase of split ends. For instance, if you are an active person who is outside in the sun and swimming lots then your hair is probably a little fragile due to the lifestyle you have. Luckily there are products such as solar shampoos that can protect your hair from the stresses of the water and sun, and this greatly helps reducing split ends. Unfortunately, though, there is no way to completely get rid of split ends other than cutting them off.

Once split ends occur in your hair there is no way to just “get rid of them” instead the only cure to split ends is a trim. Regular visits to the salon and preventing them in the first place is a necessary ritual. Although it may seem counterintuitive, getting regular trims will actually help your hair grow faster and stronger. This is because, if the split ends aren’t cut off, the hair will just continue breaking higher and higher along the hair shaft, and you’ll end up with frizzier hair as a result.

So, if you are someone who unfortunately has ended up with short brittle hair and is on the road to growing it out with regular trims and hair care then there are a few ways to hide them in the meantime. Using products like leave in treatments, oils and serums that are suited to your hair, smooths out the hair strand and gives a healthier, glossier look as well as giving your hair the hydration it needs.

Another option is hair extensions. If you are in the situation where your hair is very snapped and you are trying to grow it then hair extensions gives you that length, thickness and cover until you are ready to go without them.

So, although split ends are unfortunately a part of all of our lives, there are steps we can take to keep the health and look of our hair under control. Whether you are bringing your hair back from a bad case of split ends or have only ever noticed a few – prevention with trims and proper hair care is the best place to start.

Written by Dillan Baker

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